Can deadbolt locks be picked?

There are many types of deadbolts, and they are considered secure thanks to their dead latch mechanism. If someone intends to break in, they can do that with certain knowledge and tools. In the end of the day, some deadbolts are easier to pick and some are nearly impossible. There are 2 main types of tools that can be used to unlock a lock without damaging the lock. Those are Lishi and Bump key.

Most deadbolt locks can be picked while only a couple of brands cannot be “picked”. One of the unpickable locks would be Mul-t-lock, Medeco, and Smart Kwikset. Those deadbolts have a very complicated internal system to “pick” using conventional tools. Even the key itself has many curves and grooves which also can be rekeyed or duplicated only in an authorized locksmith shop equipped with specialized tools. Moreover, it is nearly impossible or would take several hours to drill it out.

Based on our locksmith experience and locksmith magazines, nearly %90 of households in the United States have a regular deadbolt that can be easily picked or drilled in a worst-case scenario.

How do I know if my deadbolt lock can keep me safe?

First of all, we need to know some basics about the locks mechanism. Almost all the locks that have a pin system can be picked. Conventional house doors have regular deadbolts and door knobs manufactured mostly by Kwikset or Schlage. Those types of locks have 5 pins that match the key cut (curves on the tip of the key).

So coming back to our question is my lock safe enough? If your current lock is not a Mul-t-lock, Medeco, smart Kwikset, or in some cases 6 pins lock – then your deadbolt is not safe.

If you have this type of locks installed on your door, you should change them or call a local locksmith technician to do it for you. Changing locks is absolutely easy and rekeying them for the same key is not necessary at all. You just buy locks online and see if the number on the box saying “keys alike” are matching other boxes. It means they are already same key, so all you have to do is install them according to manual included in the box.


I am Rauan, I have over 4 years of experience as a locksmith tech and then as the owner of my own company. I live in Houston, TX, and love to provide valuable insights related to locks. Enjoy reading

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